Exploring Climate Change creatively

On June 4th, we held a workshop on the theme of Climate Change. Climate change is nowadays an ubiquitous word, however how many of us know the facts, and are able to sustain backed up arguments on this topic? We wanted to explore the facts and stories surrounding our climate from a different perspective.

We started the workshop by introducing ourselves, and by trying to answer the question: what is our main footprint during our daily job? How do we contribute the most to climate change with our work? Many discussions arose from this simple question, we touched the delicate topic of conference travel, which is way too often done via long plane journeys, with a high emission of co2. We also discussed the large use in the biological sciences of plastic gloves, and plastic tools such as pipettes. I had not thought about this, but indeed, also when working in a cleanroom, on a wet bench I would use at least 3,4 pair of gloves each session, and several plastic sample holders, usually one use only. We also discussed the impact of different architecture on the climate.

The first activity following introductions was an explorations of climate change facts starting from images of climate change. We had many images from the nasa climate change program: https://climate.nasa.gov/ with facts printed on the back. The images were hanging on strings, and participants took a walk around and read at their own pace the facts.

The second part of the workshop aimed at internalising climate change facts via creatively producing an art piece inspired by the images and facts we had looked at. We started with a warm up collective drawing activity on the climate change theme. We then moved on to individual creations. Everyone picked one image they liked the most and created an illustration, comic, poem about it. Below are some of the creations!

We had an illustrated story about a rodent species from australia, who is believed to be extinct due to climate change, a drawing of a penguin, a camel and a monkey lost in the desert, looking for their homes which have been disrupted by climate change, a polar bear floating on a little piece of ice towards a tropical island, with a fan next to him and sweating a lot, a story of fish moving out of their habitats because they cannot sustain the change in acidity of the sea water, and a visual explanation of a rayonet, with muscley photons bombarding molecules!

 

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